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This is from Oct 11, but oddly of [perhaps more] relevance [these days]:

“Level the place!” the senator said of Gaza in a Fox News interview in mid-October. He appeared to say it was okay to attack the entire population. Graham justified his apparent preference for total war by adding, “We’re in a religious war here. I am with Israel. Do whatever you have to do to defend yourself.” [...]

“You’ve got to realize the United States dropped two atomic bombs on cities in Japan to end the war,” Graham said. “I think this is total war between Israel and Hamas.”

I realize that pollsters may have qualms about asking this and respondents likewise answering, but has something like this been polled in the US since Oct 7? If so, what were the results?

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3 Answers 3

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I suppose that you are correct “that pollsters may have qualms about asking this”, since thus far, I have not been able to find any polls that ask a question like “Should Israel drop an atomic bomb on Gaza?” The best I can do is a recent poll that asks the question “Do you think Israel's military response to the attack by Hamas has been too much, too little or about right?” had the overall responses break down (as of November 6-9) as:

  • 38% “too much”
  • 38% “about right”
  • 17% “too little”
  • 7% “unsure”

We can assume that any person who believes in “leveling” Gaza with nukes or WMDs (or expelling the Gaza Strip's population to another country, or any similarly extreme solution to the Gaza problem) would have answered “too little” to the question. Thus, I can technically answer your question with no more than 17%.

However, the poll does not give specifics about what these 17% of respondents think that Israel should do instead.

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  • 2
    This answer saved me from voting to close the question as too inflammatory to answer.
    – Joshua
    Nov 16, 2023 at 4:40
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    Leveling Gaza with nukes bounds on absurdity - just look at the map and distances. Unlike the US, Israel is fighting a war on its own border, while the whole size of Gaza + Israel + West Bank is about the size of New Jersey. Nov 16, 2023 at 10:30
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    To put numbers on RogerV's point: The entire strip, end to end, is roughly 41 kilometres/25 miles long.
    – DBS
    Nov 16, 2023 at 10:53
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    A nuke wouldn't be advised or possibly even seriously considered. A MOAB or ten, on the other hand.... ( do not take this comment as indicating my desires in any way )
    – CGCampbell
    Nov 16, 2023 at 11:12
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Likely not an absolute majority. From this poll

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Israel is responding to the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack?” Half approved and 35 percent disapproved overall. But only 32% of respondents aged 18-34 approved of Israel’s response, as opposed to about 58% of those aged 50 and older.

The actions described in the question are likely more extreme so support for them may have even less popularity. In any case, less than half.

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    In theory, some of the "disapprove" answers could be people who believe that Israel is being too lenient on Gaza. So perhaps a better poll is this one, in which 38% believe that the Israeli military response is "too much" (versus 17% "too little").
    – dan04
    Nov 15, 2023 at 23:24
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    What Israel does is brutal - which is not unexpected, after 1400 murders - but it is not “levelling Gaza”.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 16, 2023 at 8:02
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    @dan04 what is lacking here is understanding of what Israeli military response actually is, and in what ways it could be more or less forceful. E.g., is it "too much" or "too little" for eliminating Hamas? Could be done with less suffering to peaceful population? Nov 16, 2023 at 12:28
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Not many. US support for Israel in these troubles is down to 32 percent down from 41 percent from mid Oct. That's after the death of 4,600 Palestinian children, nearly half of all deaths. What will the polling numbers be when that number doubles or triples?

U.S. support for Israel is dropping. The majority of Americans now disagree with President Biden and support a cease fire. Those who believe the United States should be an impartial mediator for peace between the two sides is now 39 percent up from 27% in mid Oct. If this thing goes on another few months as PM Netanyahu has been saying this could start to be a reordering episode for how the US views Israel. A huge existential problem for Israel.

US support for Israel is declining amid ongoing war in Gaza: Survey

Fifteen percent of respondents said the U.S. should back Palestinian interests in the war, which is largely unchanged.

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    "That's after the death of 4,600 Palestinian children" - note that "children" can include anyone younger than 18, and Hamas "routinely indoctrinate Palestinian children to aspire to martyrdom through armed confrontations with Israel" (quote from UN report AHRC46NGO42, 2021). Some of these children are babies, toddlers and young kids. Others are Hamas fighters. Furthermore, 50% of the Gaza population is under 18, so the numbers reported are in line with statistical expectations.
    – Tom
    Nov 16, 2023 at 9:37
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    @Tom, '50% of the Gaza population is under 18, so the numbers reported are in line with statistical expectations.' Yes in line with statistical expectations if Israel just went into a heavily populated area and randomly started murdering everyone. Which is what the polls are reacting too.
    – JMS
    Nov 16, 2023 at 13:54
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    I'm trying not to judge and simply comment on facts. "randomly murdering everyone" is strongly judgmental. The same distribution of casualties would be expected from collateral damage. This percentage of children would be unusual in western countries (US: ca. 25% of the population is under 18), so without that context the number of children dead could look extremely high. tl;dr: There are so many dead children because Gaza has tons of children, not because children are disproportionately killed.
    – Tom
    Nov 16, 2023 at 14:40
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    @Tom, Wasn't that your point when you said half the population of Gaza were children and thus nearly half the casualties being children, "are in line with statistical expectations"? How else can your statement statistically be interpreted? As you point out, If one randomly bombed Gaza, giving no care of who was being hit, it would result in very similar casualty percentages of children deaths. Babies, 3 year old's, eight year old's all they way up to including 17 year old's. Aren't those the facts, worthy of your reacting too?
    – JMS
    Nov 16, 2023 at 15:49
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    @osiris: That particular comment has another aspect: This is clearly an information war as well. One of the means of waging that war is calling 17-year old child soldiers "children" in your reports, because that words evokes images of young kids playing in the street and not one of young terrorists. The quote I gave is from a UN report, so this fact is not controversial. The list of names that Hamas has published includes age. If anyone has data-mined it to show an age distribution, I'd be curious to see that.
    – Tom
    Nov 16, 2023 at 20:44

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